HALO begins clearance in Armenia

HALO began work on 1st April 2014 as the first international NGO to conduct mine clearance in Armenia. A team of HALO deminers, funded by the US Department of State’s Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement, is clearing a minefield in the village of Srashen, near the town of Kapan in Syunik region. The team found its first mine, an OZM-72 bounding fragmentation mine, on 4th April.

The people of Srashen and many other villages around Kapan have lived with the mines for over 20 years since the end of fighting over the neighbouring region of Nagorno Karabakh.

The day after the commencement of demining HALO started the training of the first batch of a total of 60 deminers from Armenia’s Peace Keeping Engineering Battalion (PKEB). As part of HALO’s US Government grant HALO will train the PKEB to international demining standards and then manage their clearance for two years. This will provide Armenia with a well-trained experienced cadre of deminers to clear Armenia’s landmines problem.

The first of the PKEB deminers will complete their training on 17th April and will then deploy to conduct clearance under HALO management around Kapan.

HALO’s work in Armenia is coordinated by and conducted under the authority of the Armenian Centre for Humanitarian Demining and Excellence.